Automotive Holiday Deals Books Holiday Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Indie for the Holidays egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Beauty Deals Gifts for Her Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $30 Off Fire HD 6 Kindle Cyber Monday Deals Holiday Music in CDs & Vinyl Shop Now HTL
The Chrysanthemum and the Sword and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $15.95
  • Save: $1.45 (9%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
The Chrysanthemum and the... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Solid with Some wear to the edges and or corners including bent crease corners, Light marks, etc. Possible small amounts of highlights, underlining, etc. but overall still good. All books are wiped down if possible. Thank you.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Chrysanthemum and the Sword Paperback – January 25, 2006

40 customer reviews

See all 12 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$6.95 $0.01

Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book
Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book
Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now
$14.50 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Chrysanthemum and the Sword
  • +
  • Patterns of Culture
Total price: $28.05
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

RUTH BENEDICT (1887–1948) was one of the twentieth century’s foremost anthropologists and helped to shape the discipline in the United States and around the world. Benedict was a student and later a colleague of Franz Boas at Columbia, where she taught from 1924. Margaret Mead was one of her students. Benedict’s contributions to the field of cultural anthropology are often cited today.

Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1 edition (January 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618619593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618619597
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Veronica Hales on August 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am an oriental who is familiar with Chinese, Japanese, and Korean culture. This really hits the nail. Many people may say that this book is outdated - not so. The fundamental cultural undercurrent of Japan still remains as the book describes. In my opinion, this book holds key to understand motivation and reason in why Japanese do and say things that would be hard to understand by Occidental standard. Also for Chinese and Korean, the idea of 'repaying debt,' and 'duty' may not be specific as Japan and may not have strong vengeful element, but still is very much tied in with idea of filial piety creating more similar result to that of Japanese then that of the first world Western culture in terms of what is proper conduct, who to respect, how to show or not show respect, and saving the face (although some Chinese and Korean may claim that they much are different from Japanese in many respect. I would say by all means it is not identical, but similar from western standard). I have seen many westerners study Zen and Japanese tea ceremony to understand Japanese culture - this will not do. This way will never quite bring genuine understanding of Japanese because they will still be considered as a foreigner thus exception to regular application of Japanese hierarchal rule.

Many readers say that this book is not creditable because Ruth Benedict had not lived in Japan. That is irrelevant. This book cuts through craps and shows you the core of Japanese cultural mechanism.
5 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Aleksandra Nita-Lazar on March 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
In 1944, the Allies landed in Normandy, forcing the German army to fight on two fronts; on the Pacific the counteroffensive against Japan gave the Americans one victory after another. The war was almost finished and the new world order was only a matter of time.
The losers, Germany and Japan, not only had to be punished, but these nations needed to be revived and given a fresh start.

In this political situation, the American government decided to get advice not only from the military and politicians, but also from the anthropologists - in an attempt to understand foreign, now subordinate, societies. The Japanese culture, so alien and distant from the American one, which is firmly rooted in Europe, was analyzed by Ruth Benedict, an anthropologist from Columbia University. The goal was to learn of the strengths and weaknesses of the Japanese in order to assume the best strategy towards the end and after the WWII.

Benedict writes with rare objectivity, describing Japanese traditions and customs, the habits, which are obvious in Japan, but weird, extreme or unheard of for an average Western person. She describes the situations, when the Japanese expect politeness and respect, and when they cannot count on any; when they feel shame, confusion and embarrassment; what they demand from their family, friends, co-workers and themselves. She discusses their roots, symbols and ideas on which the society is based (this is not a book about religion or art, so they are only mentioned when necessary).

The fact, that Benedict had never set foot in Japan, was nothing special - it was believed that it is possible for an anthropologist to use means other than personal experience in their work.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Cesar Diaz on July 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Any westerner who's ever been to Japan may have felt at one moment or another that he or she has landed, not only in a different country, but in quite a different planet. If you're taking a trip to Japan, the cultural tips you find in a quick reference tourist guide might suffice for travel, but if you're planning to live in Japan or study any particular topic of its culture, you'll definitely have to dig way deeper."The Chrysantemum And The Sword" is a classic text of Cultural Anthropology written around the end of WWII, and althought its author, Ruth Benedict, wrote it whithout ever setting foot in Japan, it's remarkable how far she went to understand the underlaying values of a culture like this, at times fascinating, and at times shocking. It was written in 1946, but it's still a book some people in Japanese universities suggest as a reference to understand some key aspects of this amazing culture. I'd also say this book is a must-read for anyone interested in humanity in the middle of war.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
32 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Fryer on November 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
Anthropologist Ruth Benedict was asked by the US government to research and compile information about Japan in order to understand the enemy they were fighting and the country they would soon be occupying. She did this surprisingly well considering that she had never set foot in Japan! Instead she conducted her research by interviewing Japanese who were living in the US during WWII and by gathering as much information on Japan as she could find. Having lived in Japan for ten years myself I found her observations to be accurate but also a bit outdated considering that we are now in the 21st century and Japan has become the second largest economy (not military). But Ruth did predict that Japan would refocus it's efforts and become a strong country again. The only criticism that I have personally is that Ruth had a very positive and understandably objective view of Japanese society, a society that I find somewhat childish, ignorant, and racist. But obviously one cannot completely understand a society until they have lived in that society for a while and learned the language so that they can get under the surface. I recommend this book for anyone interested in the origins of Japanese culture. As one reviewer remarked, the US should have done this kind of research before invading Iraq so they could have seen the mess they were getting into. One line from the book that I totally agreed with is that Americans tend to think that deep down inside people around the world are all the same but we are not all the same. Unfortunately (or fortunately) this is very true.
8 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Chrysanthemum and the Sword
This item: The Chrysanthemum and the Sword
Price: $14.50
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: more more more, said the baby, the sacred mirror, the war between the classes, swords. japan